In 2010, I entered a 5-yr contract with the neighboring property (300 acres) that gives my family 5 passes to their property (walking, hunting, etc.) in x-change for a right-of-way across my property.
I was recently notified that they were negotiating another lease on the same property and that my family would be limited to 30 acres.
The 3rd party had begun to use the property and I approached one of them. They had no idea that I had an existing agreement with the owner, but still travel across my property.
I am trying to work this out with all parties, but am not getting anywhere. I have not signed to or agreed to any additional agreements or modifications to existing agreements. If this continues to go down this road, I was hoping to find out my rights and what I could possibly do
This is a problem that will not be resolved without a lawyer sitting down and reading the documents. It sounds like you were thinking you had exclusive hunting rights on the entire property and you are now being cut back to 1/10 of the property. Get all your agreement together and take them to a lawyer that can discuss real estate agreements without having to look in a book or a computer.
Ask the lawyer to equip you to be able to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the neighbor, or if that fails, to be able to mount successful litigation.
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It appears your agreement was based on having 5 family passes to 300 acres of their property. Without looking at the agreement, I couldn't say whether or not it was an exclusive agreement. However, it is important to note that there are two aspects to the agreement: 1) Access for you and 4 others to 300 acres; and 2) access to the right of way across your property. When your neighbor reduced the amount of acres to 30, it violated your part of the agreement and may be a material violation of the terms of the contract. As such, under general contract law the wronged party can terminate the contract (ie access to the right of way). Then there's the issue of the right of way by itself. If the original intent was for only your neighbor to use the right of way, then that may be enough to terminate the contract. However, once again without looking at the documents and getting more information, I can't be sure if the contract can be terminated. You need to get a consultation with an attorney, especially since it looks like you haven't been able to resolve this yet.
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Your rights and remedies will be based largely on what is contained in the written agreement. Without review the agreement it is impossible to give a definitive answer. I would want to review your agreement with your neighbor plus the other lease. An important issue may be whether your initial agreement was ever recorded with the county recorder's office.
I would be happy to discuss with you further.
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